Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said Nigeria would understudy the Mexican presidential system of government, which gives single term to elected officials with a view to benefiting from the single term for the President and the Governors in Nigeria. He also argued that local governments and states’ houses need to be autonomous if Nigeria were to truly restructure.
Ekweremadu, who spoke when he received Ambassador Garcia Moreno Elizondo, the Ambassador of Mexico to Nigeria, said the Senate is looking at the possibilities of critically looking at the Mexican single term all over again. Although the details of the Ambassador’s visit was not fully disclosed to journalists, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu’s Special Adviser (Media), said his principal, actually told the Mexican Ambassador that Nigeria is considering the possibility of constitutional reform that can guarantee a single term so that the struggle by chief executives using state resources and instruments, to facilitate election for second tenures, can be eliminated.
According to him, Ekweremadu also observed that the states in Mexico had substantial autonomy with their respective constitutions, which indicates that Nigeria can look to Mexico when talking about devolution of powers and strengthening federalism. Again he said, “Presently, we are trying to see what we can do to empower not just the states, but also the local governments, so as to strengthen our federalism. And part of the things we are looking at is to get autonomy for the local governments such that they are able to get their funds directly from the federal government to special accounts created by each local government. So they get their funding from the federation account straight to their own account at the various states,” he said.
Responding to Ekweremadu, the Mexican Ambassador said Nigeria and Mexico had the common challenge of improving the wellbeing of their citizens, which he said can only be effectively addressed with political stability and very strong democratic institutions especially given the critical position of Nigeria in the scheme of things in Africa and globally.